Monday, May 13, 2013

Planning Ahead for Interviews

My kids took my wife out for Mother’s Day for supper. They traditionally do the Mother’s Day brunch but due to an out of state basketball tournament my daughter competed in, we broke tradition and went out for supper instead. Naturally I tagged along to play chauffeur and pay the bill. My daughter orders spaghetti and my son gets pizza. In the middle of eating a roaming magician stops by our table (on Sunday night this particular restaurant has a magician). So here is my daughter and son trying to eat and interact with the magician. It wasn't before too long that my daughter was wearing spaghetti sauce on her sweatshirt and my son was wearing pizza sauce on his face & shirt.

This reminded me of a conversation I would typically have with candidates that were scheduled to participate in a lunch interview or a dinner the night before a day of interviews with a company representative. This is what I’d tell them, and please keep the visual in your head of my kids.  If you are scheduled for a dinner or a lunch interview be certain to order a food item off the menu that can be eaten in small bites so that you may comfortably converse. Also, order a food item that has no sauce. And without a doubt, absolutely never ever order spaghetti.

So let’s say you do have a dinner scheduled with a company representative prior to your actual day of interviews. Let’s say you accidently get a food stain on your nice, white shirt. Now what? Do you go to the interviews the next day with a stained shirt? Of course not, you plan ahead. You bring an extra shirt because it is always best to be prepared for the unexpected. Nothing kills an interview like a food stain on your shirt or tie from dinner meeting the night before. 


  1. Good advice. It seems like one small spot of sauce looks huge. Also sauce seems to find your sleeves,coat jacket, etc. Once I was wearing a turtle neck shirt and found sauce had splattered on it, prior to meeting a customer. I acted quickly and changed it to wearing the front-in-the back (tag in front). One extra piece of clothing or an extra tie can make a bit difference and save precious time. Good reminder.

  2. How true on planning ahead. I was on my way to a job interview located 3 hours from where I lived. I went through a drive thru for coffee (first mistake) and as I was leaving, a vehicle pulled out in front of me forcing me to slam on the breaks and spill coffee all over me. I cleaned up the best I could but had to go to the interview in coffee stained clothes. Needless to say, I did not get the job. I now always carry emergency clothing in my vehicle.

  3. Thanks for the comment. Real life example that perfectly illustrates my advice. Scot